How to decorate wedding reception head table with tulle & lights

Updated July 20, 2017

Sheer, lightweight, and inexpensive, tulle is a solid choice for many wedding decorations. Adding tulle accents to both ceremony and reception decor ties an event together. When combined with the festive glow of lights, tulle swags make an easy yet elegant addition to a wedding reception head table.

Measure the length of the head table and purchase a length of tulle at least twice as long and as much as three times as long, depending on how loose you want the swags to be. Choose a shade of tulle to complement your decorating scheme and tablecloth colour.

Combine strings of mini white decorating or holiday lights to measure at least twice the length of the head table, but several feet shorter than the tulle.

Plug in the lights to ensure all the bulbs work and that they will reach the table from a nearby outlet. Leave enough slack in the electrical cord so that the lights lay flat against the floor. Secure the lights to a front leg of the table with masking tape and run them vertically up to the table's corner.

Start at the corner point and wrap the tulle in a spiral around the lights so that all the bulbs and the cord are completely covered. Secure both ends with tape, and attach the end of the string to the far end of the table with a large safety pin through the tulle. This will create one large, very loose drapery along the entire length of the table.

Pin the tulle to the tablecloth in equal sections so that the swag falls in graceful arcs along the front of the table. Three or five arcs are ideal, depending on the table's length, with the bride and groom's seats framed by a central draping.

Cover the pinned points and both ends of the tulle swag with bows, floral bouquets or other decorative accent for a festive finished look.


Secure the head tablecloth with plastic clamps or weigh down with centrepieces before attaching the lights and tulle, so that it does not get pulled off by the swag.


Cover the electrical cord with duct tape across the floor to prevent anyone from tripping.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Safety pins
  • Table clams (optional)
  • Duct tape (optional)
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About the Author

Madigan Talmage-Bowers has been writing articles and creative nonfiction since 2005. Her work has been featured in "Frenzy," "Walkabout," and "SHOT!" magazines, "The Colorado Daily," as well as numerous fine art, cultural and lifestyle blogs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied media and communication theory at New York's New School University.